Spoilers ! But nothing too big.
The Summary : In a world that believes that love is the enemy, how far would you be willing to run? In the future of America, The governing body has eradicated love. When every child turns 18, and finishes high school, they are forced to undergo an invasive surgery to “cure” them, and remove their capacity to love. Lena can’t wait for her surgery, having lost her mother to “Amor Deliria Nervosa,” or the disease of Love, until she meets a young boy named Alex, who shows her what she will be losing, and what she has already lost. He shows her that there can be life with love, outside of the gates of their city, in the wilds. Together, and with the help of Lena’s best friend, Hanna, they plan their escape. Will they make it, or will they die trying?
The Characters :
Lena : Lena is an absolute hater. It is completely understandable for Lena to be scared, and to hate the idea of the love. She was taught her whole life that love was a disease, a disease that took her own mothers life, or so she thought. Lena grew throughout the novel, and through her relationship with Alex into an incredibly strong female character. However, for a girl who has believed for eighteen years that love is a disease, and for someone so terrified of even the slightest idea of falling in love with someone, Lena sure does fall fast. It felt like she was willing to abandon her whole life’s teachings, just a few days after he comes into the picture. Despite my total aversion to that idea, it did make her seem more like a real girl, and less like a character in a book.
Alex : Alex is your typical YA novel love interest. He’s mysterious, a little bit dark, and totally gorgeous. Can someone PLEASE point me to a novel where this isn’t the case? Alex managed to assimilate himself back into the society, even as an invalid, a person who is uncured, and chooses to live in the wilds. Somehow, he even landed himself a government job, working in the same labs where they perform the procedure. HOW? I wish I could say that i disliked Alex a little more, but I have to love the fact that he really loves Lena. So much that he is willing to risk everything for her, even his life in the end.
Hanna : Hanna is just a typical girl, clearly going through some sort of “rebellious” phase. Hanna changes drastically throughout this book, which I did not like. She goes from being almost cynical and put off by the idea of the cure, to wanting it, for no clear reason. She spends her time on secret internet sites, listening to banned music, and attending illegal parties, with underage drinking and (gasp) boys. Then suddenly, when Lena approaches her about running away, poof, she wants to be cured, and live a life like her parents. I will never understand this. However, The way she helps Lena and Alex see each other is admirable, and she truly is a good friend, even though she isn’t always treated as such.
Carol : Carol gets a bad rep from most readers, but she’s just doing what she been taught to think is best. She had her own kids, then suddenly she has to take in her sisters kids, and is not even allowed to feel sad over her sisters death. She teaches her kids by example to not question the government, and to stay in line. She is actually sympathetic when it comes to Lena a lot more times than you’d imagine. She’s just a mother.
The Plot : This book is paced really well, surprisingly. It moves slowly, but it’s steady, right up until the last 50 pages or so (I’m not 100% on this, I listened to the audiobook). The world isn’t quite consistent, though. For a society with such strict rules, it seems so easy to break them. How do the regulators not realize that Alex isn’t actually a citizen? How many invalids and sympathizers have infiltrated their government? And how do they not notice? Why is it so easy for Hanna to get into these secret internet sites, if the government is supposedly watching their every move? Why is no one busting these secret parties? I can’t get behind a dystopian world with so many holes. The love story was a little too predictable for my taste, and this is coming from someone who has read every Sarah Dessen novel, so you know that it means something. I still don’t understand how Lena had no problem just abandoning everything she knew to follow some boy. But I will admit, the ending really got me hooked.
The Audiobook : Sarah Drew is phenomenal. Obviously, the narration can either make or break an audiobook, and Drew was definitely an asset.
The Overall : I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 hearts. The point were lost in the world building, and the love story. However, in the last two or three chapters, I literally could not turn it off. It sucked me back in, and now I am DYING to pick up Pandemonium. I absolutely can not wait to see what happens in the next book. I would recommend for fans of Uglies and Matched, who are looking for something similar.
Have you read Delirium? If so, what are your thoughts?